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TOWN OF HINGHAM
Board of Appeals
NOTICE OF DECISION
IN THE MATTER OF:
Applicant/Owner: Michael Martin
8 Smith Road
Hingham, MA 02043
Property: 8 Smith Road, Hingham, MA 02043
Deed Reference: Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Book 43345, Page 153
Plan Reference: Plan entitled, “Site Plan, 8 Smith Road, Hingham, MA” prepared by Hoyt Land Surveying, 1287 Washington Street, Weymouth, MA, dated December 22, 2016, revised through February 8, 2017 and architectural plans entitled, Proposed Elevations,” prepared by Choo & Company, Inc., 1 Billings Road, Quincy, MA, dated February 7, 2017, Sheet No. A-2.1
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS
This matter came before the Board of Appeals (the “Board”) on the application of Michael Martin A. (the “Applicant”) for a Variance from § IV-A of the Hingham Zoning By-Law (the “By-Law”) and such other relief as necessary to construct an attached garage resulting in a 14.4’ front yard setback where 25’ is required at 8 Smith Road in Residence District A.
A public hearing was duly noticed and held on March 15, 2017 at Hingham Town Hall, 210 Central Street. The Board of Appeals panel consisted of its regular members Joseph W. Freeman, Chair, Robyn S. Maguire, and Joseph M. Fisher. The Applicant appeared to represent the application during the hearing. At the conclusion of the proceedings, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested relief subject to conditions contained herein.
Throughout its deliberations, the Board has been mindful of the statements of the Applicant and the comments of the general public, all as made or received at the public hearing.
The subject property consists of approximately 29,226 SF located on the westerly side of Smith Road. The rear portion of the property is affected by both a wetland resource area and floodplain (FEMA Flood Zone A). The lot experiences a downward slope, with an approximate 10’ grade change between the front property line and the midpoint of the property. Additionally, the lot has an irregular shape as a result of its location adjacent to an angled portion of the Smith Road layout.
The property is presently improved by a single-family dwelling (ca. 1880 according to the Assessors Records) and a detached single-car garage. While the dwelling conforms to the setback requirements effective in Residence District A, the existing garage is located just 15’ from the front property line where 25’ is required. An existing septic system is located to the immediate rear of the existing dwelling.
The proposed plan calls for demolition of both existing structures and construction of a new single-family dwelling with an attached two-car garage and wraparound deck. The proposed structure would be located partially in the required front yard, with a minimum front setback of 14.4’, and resulting in an approximate 245 SF incursion. The Board noted that Section IV-C, 8. of the By-Law would permit 30 SF of this incursion by right under the projections exemption. Another approximate 100 SF incursion associated with the current detached garage already exists in this area. As a result, the proposed construction will result in an intrusion of slightly more than 100 SF beyond that already existing or otherwise permitted by right.
Based upon the information submitted and received, and the deliberations and discussions of Board members during the hearing, the Board has determined that:
1. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography especially affecting the land but not affecting generally the zoning district. The rear portion of the property is affected by both a wetland resource area and floodplain (FEMA Flood Zone A). The lot experiences a downward slope, with an approximate 10’ grade change between the front property line and the midpoint of the property. Additionally, the lot has an irregular shape as a result of its location adjacent to an angled portion of the Smith Road layout. Finally, the onsite wastewater disposal system is located to the immediate rear of the existing dwelling in the only area on the lot with appropriate soil conditions for the purpose that meets groundwater separation requirements and maximizes wetland setbacks. These circumstances are not generally found in the zoning district.
2. The literal enforcement of the Bylaws would involve substantial hardship financial or otherwise. Physical and regulatory barriers exist that limit reconstruction of the existing dwelling and garage elsewhere on the property. A grant of a Variance in this instance will allow for a reasonable placement that is consistent with both the existing improvement on the property and other residential uses within the District.
3. A variance may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good. The proposed project will not generate additional noise, traffic, or result in other similar negative impacts. There will be no adverse effects and there will be no harm to the public good resulting from the proposed addition.
4. A variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purposes of the Bylaw. Relief will result in a relatively modest intrusion of an additional 8” beyond the nonconforming setback associated with the existing detached garage. The granting of a dimensional variance will allow for a reasonable extension of the allowed residential use of the property and is consistent with the purposes of the By-Law.
Upon a motion made by Joseph M. Fisher and seconded by Robyn S. Maguire, the Board voted unanimously to grant the requested Variance from § IV-A of the By-Law and such other relief as necessary to construct an attached garage and wraparound porch resulting in a minimum 14.4’ front yard setback where 25’ is required at 8 Smith Road in Residence District A, subject to the following condition:
1. The Applicant shall construct the Project in a manner consistent with the approved plans and the representations made at the hearings before the Board.
This decision shall not take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the Town Clerk, that twenty (20) days have elapsed since the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded with the Plymouth Registry of Deeds and/or the Plymouth County Land Court Registry, and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the record owner or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.
For The Board of Appeals,
Joseph W. Freeman
May 10, 2017